2 May 2002

Solomons peace monitors collect ten guns as amnesty expires in 4 weeks

6:37 pm on 2 May 2002

Peace monitors in Solomon Islands say they have been given ten guns since last Friday's launch of a campaign to retrieve stolen weapons ahead of the expiry of an amnesty in four weeks.

The chairman of the peace monitoring council, Paul Tovua, says now the remainder of the 500 missing weapons still need to be handed in.

An opposition MP, Yukio Sato, says a gun-free declaration will be resubmitted for signing by MPs when parliament meets again.

A declaration stating that MPs have no illegal guns in their possession was circulated but only six MPs signed it, including Mr Sato and one government minister, Augustine Taneko.

Mr Sato says most MPs are now in their constituencies but all will get a chance to prove their support for the declaration and the gun amnesty when parliament sits again.

"during the parliament session every member will be here so we can do all and another thing I must mention if the highest level of national leaders don't do this how can we expect a nation to do this we are the leaders we must take the initiave."

Opposition MP Yukio Sato.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister, Alex Bartlett, says he will not sign the declaration as it is.

it has to come for verification in cabinet I'm a cabinet minister and when it's put together for signing by all the various parties whoever is inscribed for signing will have to sign.